Every day, response officers out across the county and are often the first to attend a whole host of reports and incidents as they come into the control room.
On response, officers can face anything from car crashes, domestic violence and robberies to assisting with mental health concerns.
Never being sure of what they might come across on a daily basis, teams work together to use their experience and quickly make decisions when they get called to an incident to make sure they are at the scene as soon as possible and that they provide the most effective service to victims.
PC Craig Carleton has been working on response since his early twenties and fifteen years later his love for the job keeps him ready to tackle and attend the next report.
Now working with the city south team, based in St Ann’s, he said: “We’re quite often the first people you’ll see after calling the police, so it can be varied.
“One of the things about being a response officer is that when anyone contacts the police quite often we’re called to go and deal with whatever is on the other end of the phone.
“You can be straight out the door to go and deal with any issues. If you’re lucky enough to not get a call straight away, it’s into paperwork, admin, tidying away things from previous shifts and contacting victims.”
Throughout his career, Craig has also become specially trained to carry a Taser, so after attending morning briefings, safely preparing his kit is the next port of call.
However, within minutes of starting this Tuesday morning shift (7am on 14 December 2021), PC Carleton got a call from a concerned mother who was having a number of issues with her son. Officers were asked to go and help remove him from the address for her safety.
However, when they arrived, the man had left of his own accord.
“The son had already left when we arrived, so we had a good conversation with the mother, offered her some advice and most importantly reassurance that we are there if she needs us and experiences any further issues with him again,” said PC Carleton.
No sooner had officers returned to their cars when another call came through.
The call was a report of a girl collapsed on the side of the A453 in Clifton and immediately PC Carleton switched on the sirens and headed straight to the scene. Halfway along the journey, an update over the radio reported that, as they were trying to assist the young lady, who was now conscious and walking, she had assaulted a paramedic and kicked him out of the ambulance.
As police arrived at the scene, a 25-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. She was taken straight to custody and has since been charged with assaulting an emergency worker and was remanded for court.
Craig was initially heading to the Bridewell to assist following this incident, but on the way he was re-directed to take statements from victims and witnesses.
He said: “To hear the update that an emergency worker, who was simply trying to help, was met with violence and was injured is absolutely awful.
“It is not part of the job for anyone in the emergency services to expect this, and we got there as quickly as we could to assist.
“After being re-directed, which can often happen on response, we headed straight to take statements from the victim and witnesses, where we also offered support, advice as well as any information or updates we could give as we went through the morning.”
Once these were done, the next port of call was to head back to the station to conduct CCTV enquiries and contact relevant partner authorities about the incident.
After some time making a number of enquiries, PC Carleton and the team were called to a report of an assault on a man. During their enquiries, a woman is reported to have become violent.
PC Carleton said: “During the arrest, another unit was called to assist and a 33-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault.
“She was also further arrested for possession of a Class B drug after a quantity of cannabis was recovered. She has since been released without charge for the assault matters and the cannabis matters were dealt with by means of a community resolution.
“There was also a third-party report of another assault on her partner. After this, we went to check on him and offer our help if he wanted to report any such incidents himself, but he did decline.
“However, as is our duty, we offered our support and advice and continue to make enquiries around any alleged behaviour.
“We want to make it clear that any reports of violence will be taken extremely seriously and, especially given the nature of these incidents, we are victim led and look to offer the most compassionate, fair and effective service we can.”
After this, and to finish off the day, the team met back at St Ann’s to round off the jobs from the day. This includes completing various enquiries and paperwork around the list of ongoing incidents that the team are investigating and updating other colleagues on.
“This shift was very typical of the variety we might get. Night shifts often present slightly different challenges, with the night time economy in swing and people out and about in the city, but again it’s very much responding to any number of things we might get called to.
“Some jobs are immediately rewarding and some parts of the job can be heartbreaking, for example when you have to give really bad news to a victim’s loved ones. However, you can’t help but feel inspired by the job. With the variety, there is something for everyone, and you’re out there day after day immediately helping those who need it.”
“Response Policing is the real backbone of the service we provide to the general public and we are often the first officers that are scene by victims and offenders alike. It’s a team game with both colleagues and with partner agencies, and the best results often come from working together. I’m pleased to say my team and colleagues offer a service I’m very proud of”